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  • Competition to Apple Inc.'s iPad, the Nook and Amazon's Kindle

     Tuesday July 20th, 2010, 11:06 am EST

    Sharp Corporation (PINK:SHCAY) has developed XMDF, a next-generation e-book format (hereinafter “Next-generation XMDF”) with advanced features that allow users to enjoy video and audio content, in addition to current features such as texts and still images. Sharp is planning to launch its e-reader with next-generation XMDF as a core technology this year. Various publishing houses (newspaper, magazines, catalogs), printing and agent companies in Japan and overseas market will be supporting Sharp to launch this e-book business.

    Sharp’s next-generation XMDF is an advanced version of the current XMDF format. The current XMDF format has been commercialized in 2001 and is used in e-book contents including Japanese novels and manga comics. The next-generation XMDF enables easy viewing of digital contents including video and audio, and allows automatic adjustment of the layout to match and meet publishers’ needs. With this digital platform, Sharp plans to enhance users’ e-book lifestyle with more sophisticated user interface technology, and at the same time will contribute to expand the e-book market. 

    XMDF allows users to browse the same content on multiple terminals including smart phones, PCs and TVs and also streamlines publisher’s e-book contents production. Sharp intends to innovate e-book lifestyles and to contribute in the creation of a new market for e-books.

    Sharp is trying to have a piece of the growing e-reader market. The eReader market is gaining share, according to PriceGrabber survey numbers released earlier. 1 in 20 consumers own an eReader and one third plan to buy one in the next 12 months. Sharp plans to begin the service and sell two types of e-readers, which resemble Apple' computer Inc.'s iPhone and iPad, by the end of the year in Japan and will then also export the gadgets. While more consumers are familiar with the Kindle™, the Apple®  Inc. (AAPL) iPad is the most popular eReader among consumers planning to purchase in the next year. Sharp's e reader has to be far superior than the existing devices to draw any attention. Barnes and Nobles' Nook has failed to create enthusiasm in consumers till now.

    Touch-screens, Size of the device and availability of eBooks are the most important features consumers look for in the device. Pricegrabber survey also revealed that  80 % of consumers aren't willing to pay more than $250 for an eReader.

    According to Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), they sold 143 e-books for every 100 hard cover books in the last 3 months. Sale of e books ousted physical books by a large number. Are you willing to buy an e reader in the future or you like the touch & feel of physical books and ease of making notes. Your feedback is welcomed.

    Discussed Companies
    Apple Inc. (Apple Computer Inc.) (AAPL)
    Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN)
    Barnes and Noble Inc. (BKS)
    Sharp Corp. (SHCAY)

    Disclaimer: Author doesn't owns stocks of any of the above companies.
    Source: www.timesofindia.us


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